Wanamassa Birds

I frequently stroll the streets of Wanamassa, NJ, with camera at the ready to take pictures of birds.

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Location: Ocean, New Jersey, United States

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pair of Night Herons

It had rained all Saturday and well into Sunday, but late afternoon the sun came out. The Mets were losing 5-0, so I decided to take a walk to see what I could find in the late afternoon sun. At first, I thought I was on a wild goose chase -- all I saw between home and the bridge at Wickapecko were three Canada Geese, a pair of mourning doves and a mockingbird. The mocker was on the roof of a house, so I didn't take a picture because I don't like pointing my camera at people's houses -- people don't realize just how much zoom I have so they could think I'm taking pictures through their windows.

But as I approached the bridge my luck turned as I caught a glimpse through the trees of the familiar shape of an adult black-crowned night heron. I was able to get reasonably close, even though it was across the water:

However, it didn't take kindly to my encroaching on its space and it hopped up to a higher branch:

I decided to walk on along North Wanamassa Drive in the hope of seeing some warblers, but I had hardly started when I caught sight of another black-crowned night heron. At first, I thought it was the same bird, but a quick scan of the other bank made me realize that this was a second bird. It was on my side of the water and it was at first less concerned by my approach:

But as I got closer it became a bit agitated as you can see by the way it seemed to sprout a tuft in its head feathers:

And when I got underneath and slightly behind the bird, the tuft became even more pronounced:

Later, this bird flew to the other side of the water, nearer to the first bird. I had spent a fruitless quarter of an hour trying to get a shot with both birds in it, but it just wasn't possible. With them closer together my hopes rose, but they had positioned themselves in such a way that this was the only shot I was able to get. If I moved left and down to get more of a straight line between the birds, the one at extreme top right of this picture disappeared behind the branches.

I really like these birds, so I'm glad that we have them here again. Now I have to keep an eye out for the green herons. I've not seen any of them yet.


Anonymous Ian said...

Fantastic shots, nice one!

6:49 AM  

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